Francesco Guidolin thinks Luis Muriel is on the verge of stardom - but not necessarily in Udine.
Speculation on Luis Muriel’s future has taken up its fair share of column inches in both Italy and England recently.
The promising Colombian hasn’t flourished at the Stadio Friuli this season, limited to just 12 Serie A starts with only four goals to his name.
Liverpool have been linked with a £17 million move for his services in previous summers as well as this one to bolster their strike force for Champions League football next term.
Departure talk has only increased as Muriel’s agent recently confessed that the forward is unhappy on the bench in north east Italy.
And Udinese head coach Francesco Guidolin has surprisingly chosen to throw more fuel on the fire by admitting the 22-year-old could leave.
“I believe Luis has great potential, he will become a player like Cuadrado, someone who changes matches,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Muriel could follow Cuadrado’s same path, I’m convinced he will become a truly important player.
“He will certainly have the season in which he explodes, maybe not here, possibly at another club.”
Muriel does seem on the verge of moving on. Guidolin’s words suggest the coach thinks he’s done all he can for the Colombian and is ready to let him leave.
Should that explosion does happen away from Udine, Liverpool supporters will hope it’s at Anfield and not the Artemio Franchi. The latter the stadium where Cuadrado - co-owned by Udinese and Fiorentina - has become a star with the Viola.
At this point, it seems a matter of how much Udinese are willing to sell unsettled Muriel for, something that will have suitors on alert.
And if price is right, Liverpool might just have another young talent on their hands for Brendan Rodgers to mould.
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